LocalChurch Members, Part Two by
Pastor John Hamel
“Obey them that
have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your
souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and
not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
We are still
studying the Holy Spirit and the LocalChurch. In our last
lesson we began to see just some of the things the Holy Spirit expects from
each and every member of the Body of Christ. Every Believer needs to
be involved in a LocalChurch. Every
Believer needs to be faithful in their support of the Pastor of their LocalChurch. Our above
text says that our Pastors one day will give account for their leadership
If we make the
Pastor miserable in his governing capacity, our text also reveals that life
will be unprofitable for us. Unprofitable not only here on the Earth,
but even more so when we reach Heaven’s gate.
Our time on Earth is a probationary period. We are deciding our Eternity
right here and now. God has not already decided our Eternity; He is
leaving it up to us. The closer we live to Jesus and His Word here on
Earth, the closer we will live to Jesus in Heaven and the greater the
rewards. If we live a life of disobedience
on the Earth as Believers, we strip ourselves of rewards both here and in Eternity
future. (2Corinthians 5:6-10)
In our last lesson
we saw the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead us to a Church
that preaches and teaches the Bible in its fullness. You do not need
to be in a Church that does not believe in the Gifts of the Spirit for
today when you believe that the Gifts of the Spirit are for today.
That will drain your faith.
We saw the importance of loving and
highly esteeming our Pastor and submitting to Him willingly. We spoke
of the importance of being faithful in attendance, praying for the Pastor
and their spouse, paying tithes and offerings, involving ourselves in a
Missionary program and keeping ourselves both teachable and correctable. Let us get
right back into it.
Earnestly the Holy Spirit's Gifts
EARNESTLY THE BEST GIFTS: and yet shew I unto you
a more excellent way.” (1Corinthians )
To “covet” means,
“to have a strong desire for something.” The Gifts of the Spirit will
not manifest proficiently unless we desire them so strongly that we are
continually thanking the Holy Spirit for their manifestation. You can
and you must do this. (1Corinthians 1:7; 14:1) Only as we
expect the Holy Spirit to manifest can He and will He. (Hebrews 11:6)
“What are the best
Gifts to covet?” you may ask. The best Gifts would be the ones that
are needed the most, given the present circumstances. For example, if
someone were in need of healing in their body, the best Gift to operate in
that particular situation would be the Gifts of Healings, not
Prophecy. Or, if someone needed to locate a lost person or object,
the best Gift for that particular situation would be the Word of Knowledge,
not the Gifts of Healings.
The best Gifts are the ones that you need
the most right now.
Sometimes only the
Holy Spirit knows the best Gifts to operate during a Church service.
Just tell Him you realize that and you are coveting and strongly desiring
that He would move in the way that He knows is best.You may visit our JHM Online Bible Training
Centre where you will find ten enlightening lessons on the nine Gifts
of the Spirit.Once there, click on
“The Holy Spirit: Nine Spiritual Gifts” & scroll down.
to the Operation of the Holy Spirit
NOT THE SPIRIT.” (1Thessalonians )
Once we begin to
covet the Gifts of the Spirit in our lives and in our services, they will
begin to operate. When this happens we want to be very careful to keep our eyes on Jesus and keep our
eyes on the Holy Spirit. As soon as we get our eyes on the one
through whom the Gifts are operating, we begin to grieve the Spirit of God
and the Gifts will cease to flow. (Ephesians 4:30)
It quenches the
Holy Spirit when we look at the anointed human vessel and not the One Who
sends the Anointing.
If the Gifts begin
to operate through you, do not become self-conscious, either. This
will quench the Holy Spirit as quickly as pride will. He can use
whomever He chooses. Tell Him that you are available.Tell Him that you are willing to be used
or for others to be used.
Every Believer can
operate in at least two or more Spiritual Gifts. (1Corinthians ) Find out where the Holy Spirit has
gifted you and do whatever you need to do to keep yourself holy and to
yield to your Gifts. Sometimes they will operate in public services,
other times in private.
with Biblical Government
“Moreover if thy
brother shall trespass against thee, go and TELL HIM HIS FAULT BETWEEN THEE
AND HIM ALONE: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
But IF HE WILL NOT HEAR THEE, THEN TAKE WITH THEE ONE OR TWO MORE, that in
the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And IF HE SHALL NEGLECT TO HEAR THEM, TELL IT UNTO THE CHURCH: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an
heathen man and a publican.” (Matthew 18:15-17)
As Believers we
must be careful to not run to the Pastor every time there is a conflict
amongst ourselves. Jesus clearly laid out His will for Church
government regarding conflict.
First, we are to
attempt to resolve the matter ourselves. If the offending party refuses to
repent, we are to take with us a witness who understands what the Bible
says about the matter.Only after
going alone fails and going with a witness fails are we to involve the Pastor.
If the individual
refuses to repent, they are to become to us as “heathens and
publicans.” This means that we are to break fellowship with them and
begin to pray that God would grant them sorrow until they repent.
(2Corinthians ; 2Timothy ) Of course, breaking fellowship is
only for the most extreme types of sin such as sexual immorality, theft,
slander, etc. (1Corinthians 5:1-13) Petty
issues should never come to this point.
If the situation
should result in this type of discipline, the Pastor should guide the
Church members in harmony with the Word of God. If it is necessary to
break fellowship with someone until they repent, it is vitally important
for the congregation to cooperate with the Pastor and the Holy Spirit and
not offer resistance in the matter. We must be exceptionally careful
to not be guided by sympathy, family ties, raw emotion or friendship with
If someone is sinning to the point where his or her
very life is in jeopardy, we must do what love would do as hard as it may
be. We must withstand them according to the Word of God, forcing them to
come to terms with the danger of their sin. This is what love would
do. We will talk about this more in the next point.
& Deny Fellowship to the Offender
“Now I beseech you,
brethren, MARK THEM WHICH CAUSE DIVISIONS AND OFFENCES contrary to the
doctrine which ye have learned; and AVOID THEM.” (Romans 16:17)
This is not mean or
cruel. This is what love would do to spare the life of the
offender. I personally know a man who had a homosexual spirit. He sat in a CharismaticChurch for years and no
one would dare to correct him. As he would change homosexual lovers,
he would bring them to the Church and they would frequently sit together
right in the front row. The congregation behaved as if there was
The Pastor refused to address the man or to discipline
him in any way. His opinion was that it would be best for the man to
keep hearing the preaching of the Word in order to bring him to
repentance. However, God does not need our opinions. God needs
our obedience. God does not want to hear what we “think” is
best. God has already told us in the Bible what He thinks is
The Bible says we
are to confront individuals who are living in such deep sin, absolutely
requiring that they repent. If they refuse, we are to mark them as
rebels (in the spirit of love, of course) and to break all fellowship with
them. This is to cause them to see the severity and danger of their
In some extreme cases, the Holy Spirit will also lead us to turn
them over to Satan for the destruction of their flesh, that their spirits
would be saved on the Day of Judgment.
(1Corinthians 5:4,5) Because this man was allowed to sit for well
over a decade without Scriptural confrontation, he finally lost his life to
The Pastor who refused to confront him according to the
Scripture preached his funeral in the very Church where he was allowed to remain
This man was robbed
of decades of joy, peace, health and prosperity.
No one seemed to
care that he was wasting his probationary period here on Earth.
one seemed to understand that they were cooperating with this man giving up
everything for one thing.
No one seemed to care that God, not the
Pastor, is the One Who determines what is best for someone who is so
entrenched in immorality.Man’s
opinion overrode the precious Holy written Word of God and it literally
cost someone their life.
The Holy Spirit
knows what He is doing. Our opinions, our pride and our “better
ideas” do not amount to a hill of beans when it comes to the Holy Spirit’s discipline.
For every negative
in the Bible there are two positives. What I mean is this.
Every time God tells us to not do one thing, it
is because He wants to do two things for us. He wants to protect us and He wants to provide for us. When we refuse to cooperate with
Him, He cannot do either.
& Restore Fellowship to the Penitent
“Sufficient to such
a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise
YE OUGHT RATHER TO FORGIVE HIM, AND COMFORT HIM, lest perhaps such a one
should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that
ye would confirm your love toward him.” (2Corinthians 2:6-8)
Paul refers here to
a man in First Corinthians chapter five who was having a sexual
relationship with his father’s wife. Paul instructed the Church at Corinth to mark the man
and to avoid fellowship with him to bring him to repentance,
according to the principles that we have discussed. The Church cooperated
with Paul, as difficult as it was. The Holy Spirit’s Biblical form of
discipline was very effective and the man came to repentance.
Now, here, Paul
tells the CorinthChurch to restore the
penitent man to fellowship. Apparently they were unwilling to do so
initially. But with Paul’s admonition they restored the man in order
that he not be consumed with sorrow and
he man had suffered enough
and there was the chance that he may choose to not live if the Church
refused to receive him back. Therefore, by the Holy Spirit’s leading,
the Apostle Paul insisted that the man, having learned his lesson, be
restored to fellowship.
So too, the modern
Church must cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s Biblical form of discipline
and restoration. We must cooperate with the Pastor when he is
required to do things that are not easy. The Pastor cannot govern
effectively without the cooperation of the entire Body.
When we have
a Pastor willing to obey the Word of God at all costs, when it is easy and
when it is hard, we should never do anything that would cause us to lose
him or her. How easily the Holy Spirit could remove an obedient
Pastor from a disobedient congregation and set him over one that will
cooperate with him when he sets out to obey the Word of God.
So we have seen
some of the most important things that the Holy Spirit expects from each
and every member of the LocalChurch.
allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the Church of His choice.
love and esteem the Pastor and submit to him as he obeys the Word of
We must be faithful in attendance.
We must pray for our
Pastor and their spouse.
We must pay tithes and offerings and involve
ourselves in our Church’s Missionary program.
We must remain
teachable and correctable.
We are required to covet the best
Spiritual Gifts and yield to them when they begin to operate.
always cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s Biblical form of government and
discipline, marking and denying fellowship with deliberate offenders.
We must also absolutely forgive and restore the deliberate offender when
In our three remaining lessons on “The Holy
Spirit & the LocalChurch,” we will see how
to personally and maturely receive the Holy Spirit’s correction when it is
needed in our own individual lives.